Horror Club: 47 Meters Down
Last summer, 47 Meters Down - the underwater survival horror film written by Johannes Roberts and Ernest Riera and directed by Roberts - hit theaters and was a tremendous box office success. The film focuses on two of the public's biggest fears: sharks and drowning. Created with a budget of $5.5 million, the film went on to bring home $61.7 million - so it definitely did a great job on attracting horror lovers back to the depths of the oceans that movies like Deep Blue Sea, The Rift, and of coarse Jaws left us. But was the incredible amount of profit the film generated worth it to the genre?
47 Meters Down follows sisters Lisa (played by Mandy Moore) and Kate (played by Claire Holt) who travel to Mexico for vacation. In an attempt to get her mind off her recent breakup (due to her being "boring"), Lisa invites Kate down to Mexico after her ex-boyfriend bailed, and while there they met two Mexico natives who were there to have a good time and party with some cute girls. The guys end up sharing stories about an underwater shark feeding experience they partake in: sail out into the ocean, throw on some scuba gear and hop in a cage where you'll be lowered face-to-face with one of the world's most dangerous predators, the gorgeous but massive great white shark. Kate manages to convince her sister that dropping into the ocean in a cage isn't something that a boring chick would do, and that it would make for great photos to show her ex to win him back. So they agree and the next day, take the plunge into the depths.
Everything was going fine until - oh man - the wench breaks off the ship and it, along with the cage the girls are inside of, plummet to the bottom of the ocean floor: 47 meters down. Communication with the vessel above is limited - as is the air in their oxygen tanks - and it is only a matter of time until the two girls become one with the mysterious, dark ocean forever or one of the massive 20+ feet long great white sharks roaming the ocean floors get to them first. Its a race against time and nature for survival, and it makes for one terrifying vacation for the two young girls.
While 47 Meters Down may not be creating something we haven't already seen before, the story line following the fate of Kate and Lisa definitely has some creative elements to it, along with some plot twists here and there to throw a curve ball into the story. Without giving too much away, the twists and turns the movie takes could probably be predicted by fans of the genre, but they are executed pretty well, so at least in my mind, it gives the film a couple extra points, if even just for that. The film has some really cool underwater scenes, and to be honest I was even pleasantly surprised with the overall look of the sharks - at no point did they look like over-the-top CGI animation; they could actually pass pretty well for reality. Their massive size and fluent maneuvers in the water appeared very natural and real, so while you may not seem them a tremendous amount of times throughout the film, the times they do, they look great. Mandy Moore, who's character Lisa plays the more dramatic and worrisome character in the movie, along with co-star Claire Holt did fine jobs portraying their parts as vacationers looking to do something a little wild. Kate is perhaps a little more likable, since she's not bugging out nearly as much as her sister is, and she actually does some pretty badass stuff in the film, like taking off her oxygen tank and mask to squeeze herself through the bars on the cage to get out. It was a risky undertaking I was expecting to happen, and Kate was a total badass for risking it. Lisa spends the majority of her on-screen time freaking out, which I guess is expected since, you know, they are 47 meters below the surface of the ocean. Overall, however, both performances were enough to keep the film entertaining and to keep my attention.
Earning its self the spot as one of the highest-grossing indie films of 2017, 47 Meters Down is a fun little adventure to keep you entertained throughout its 85 minute run time. There are definitely some moments where sharks would pop up out of no where they gave me a good jump, but it's nothing that will keep you up at night, unfortunately. The film looks pretty beautiful, and the women did a good job in their roles, so 47 Meters Down is worth your time if you're in the mood for a good underwater horror, which I know I can never get enough of. It's nothing groundbreaking here, to be honest, but it will serve its purpose of making you feel useless at a terrifying depth. And hopefully this film will teach you... don't go shark seeing with random men you meet in Mexico, no matter how friendly they seem!